Battlestar Galactica & Caprica Reviews

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BSG TOS 1978 - Season 1 - Episode 19

My Rating - 4

Fan Rating Average - 5.67

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Synopsis
Apollo and Starbuck intercept a cryogenic sleeper ship they believe may be from Earth. The inhabitants say they're from a planet called Terra, and warn of the pursuit of the tyrannical Eastern Alliance. [DVD]

Problems
- One has to wonder why the Terrans and the Colonials are speaking the same language.
- How is Cassiopea able to live on the sleeper ship at the end without... you know... being asleep with the rest?

Factoids
- According to Boomer, every human encountered up to this point were offshoots of the Colonials, or possibly offshoots of the 13th tribe that may have bailed during the journey and never made it to their destination.
- According to Adama, "Terra" in Gemenese means "Earth."

Remarkable Scenes
- Boomer discussing the significance of the finding of this ship.
- The mysterious humans waking up.
- Michael confronting the Colonials.
- Michael: "Centons?"

My Review
Cheesy drama, but amusing in a juvenile way. Somehow, the main plot of this episode has more taste than other similar attempts. Particularly fun to watch is the Council of Twelve being outwitted by Adama. Though one could say that only barely makes up for the silliness which caused the situation in the first place. I find it hard to believe people could act so irrationally and stupid in the face of an unknown group of aliens.

Another nice thing about this episode is we don't stumble on yet another habitable plant of the week. However, the treatment of these new "alien" humans that are not related to the Colonials in any way could have been done in a better way. There are technical problems and plot holes spread about their interactions with the Colonials; I get the feeling the author of this story wanted to rush through the whole first contact thing.

Some other things which make this episode lose points are areas where it is decidedly lacking in taste. Specifically, what's the deal with Athena in this episode? Is she a viper pilot or a kindergarten teacher? The whole classroom scene reeked to me of overt sexism. It's as if they had nothing for her to do, so they conjured up something stereotypically feminine to pass some time. Also, what's the deal with the Eastern Alliance people being a bunch of space Nazis? Listen up American TV! Bad tradition! It didn't work on Star Trek, so don't do it on BSG!

If less time was spent on silliness in this episode and more time spent on showing us what the realities of a first contact would really be like, it would have been worth more points.

The following are comments submitted by my readers.

  • From hugo on 2011-09-26 at 4:59pm:
    Totally agree with the review! Some interesting ideas, but mostly fluff. In addition to Athena in the classroom we get Sheba nodding in a meeting. At least Cassie gets involved in the action...

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